Yanks grab early lead but lose it early, too
The Yankees are beginning to like this business of taking the lead. They were in front in only one of their first 55 innings this season but turned things around Sunday night against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium with a seven-run first inning.
It was not nearly as overwhelming Monday night at Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series at Camden Yards, but once again the Yankees took the early lead. This time, it was merely one run on a solo home run by Chris Young with two out in the second inning. It was the second homer of the season for Young, who clocked a three-run shot Saturday at the Stadium.
The early run was welcomed by Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who has not had much run support over the years. The Yankees were shut out 10 times last year, and three of those games were started by Pineda. Since Aug. 27, 2011, Pineda has a 2.79 run support average, which is the third lowest in the major leagues during that span (minimum 10 starts).
Another positive sign early was catcher John Ryan Murphy throwing out Alejandro De Aza attempting to steal second. Murphy, who started for resting regular catcher Brian McCann, has had a rough time of it back of the plate with a couple of passed balls and a throwing error.
Yet as quickly as the Yankees pulled in front, Pineda gave up the lead in the bottom of the second. Maybe it’s because he is not used to pitching with it. Adam Jones led off with an infield single and scored one out later on a double by Manny Machado.
Alex Rodriguez, making his first start of the season at his old position of third base, displayed weakened lateral movement in being unable to knock down Machado’s hot grounder inside the bag.
Jonathan Schoop followed with a hard liner off the left field wall for another double that put the Orioles up, 2-1. Schoop did not get credit for the double right away. He was originally called out at second base, but the call was reversed following a challenge by Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. Video replays revealed that second baseman Gregorio Petit’s tag was on Schoop’s chest after his left hand was on the bag.
Pineda recovered to strike out the next two hitters and had to hope the Yankees could come from behind as effectively as they had gone in front.